Constitution Day Events Include Interactive Discussions, Lectures

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Agenda items were designed to enliven discussion, highlight varying interpretations of the document.
Dr. Duncan welcomes the crowd.

Dr. Duncan welcomes the crowd.

September 20, 2012

Northwood University Florida commemorated the finalization, formation and signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787 by hosting several events designed to enliven discussion and highlight varying interpretations of the document.

The events were highlighted by a standing room only Faculty Forum in the Turner Education Center Auditorium. Led by Associate Professor Justin Harmon, the Forum addressed the issue of gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment, and the influence of corporations in the electoral process related to freedom of speech in the Citizens United case.

"Our professors picked these two issues because of the intensity of opinion about them within the American electorate. Students heard their professors argue several sides of each issue, and then gave students the opportunity to interact on the topics by asking questions and stating their own personal beliefs about how the Constitution addresses these controversial issues," stated President Tom Duncan. A former political science professor himself, Dr. Duncan introduced the Faculty Forum and welcomed students, staff, and faculty members to the packed hall to celebrate Constitution Day. "It is vital to our Northwood students to engage them in exercises in critical thinking about important societal issues," continued Duncan. "Constitution Day gives the Florida campus a perfect opportunity to discuss crucial issues of importance related to fundamental political issues."

Additional lectures and exercises on the Florida campus included:
• A discussion on the making of the U.S. Constitution with a writing assignment on why the Constitution means different things to different people by Adjunct Faculty member Glenn Swift
• Week long lectures on the development of the Constitution, its origination, its existence as a living document, and its application and interpretation in both Colonial times and in modern America by Adjunct Faculty member Faye Rosenberg
• A discussion about the Constitution as a codification of the meanings and values developed during colonization and their representation in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as changes in those meanings and values over the years by Adjunct faculty member Sherry Penn-Crawford
• A class project to develop a constitution for a fictitious country, and then comparing that product with the U.S. Constitution by Associate Professor Justin Harmon